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I'm an American Who Wants to Teach English in France - What Are My Options?

Learn how you can find English teaching jobs in France legally and live your life teaching English in France as an American.

I'm an American Who Wants to Teach English in France - What Are My Options?
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Wondering how to teach English in France when you are American? Despite what you may have heard, it is possible to do it legally. Here's how.

How to teach English in France legally as an American:

  • TAPIF (a French government program for teaching English in public schools);
  • Student visa;
  • Dual citizenship;
  • Summer camps.

Let's explore your 4 most common options in further detail:



Teach English in France Program: TAPIF

The most straightforward way for an American to get a job teaching in France is through TAPIF, also known as the Teaching Assistant Program in France. This program recruits over 1,000 young Americans (the cutoff age is 35) per year to work as English teachers across France for 7-month contract periods. The catch is that your French skills need to be pretty decent: applicants must have intermediate proficiency in French, and be able to prove that via university records or an essay.

One of the major benefits of the TAPIF program is that it provides U.S. citizens with a viable and legal way to teach English in France on a long-stay visa, which is extremely difficult to come by when approaching private language schools individually. The vast majority of language schools are unable to help TEFL teachers obtain working visas (and working under the table is not a realistic option in France), so teaching in public schools via TAPIF is typically the best option.

Going Further: What is the TAPIF Program for Teaching English in France?



Student Visa For Teaching English in France

If you don’t qualify for TAPIF either due to age or language ability, another way to enable you to teach English in France for a year or more would be to enroll in a course (usually French language courses) that gives you the ability to apply for a student visa.

An American is legally eligible to work 20 hours a week while on a student visa in France, and many foreign English teachers will also tutor students privately to earn additional income.

To obtain a student visa, the school must be a government-recognized program at an approved language school or university (not every course you can take in France has the authority to issue visas to students).

Going Further: How to apply for a Student Visa to legally teach English in France.

Legally teach English in France if you are American

Teaching in France via Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship with France or another E.U. country is the last viable option into France. If you are able to obtain citizenship either through family members or via a spouse, having legal working rights in one E.U. country usually means you are able to obtain work in another without as much hassle.

Find English Teaching Jobs in France through Summer Camps

There are a number of summer camps (some actually run throughout the year) across France that specializes in English language immersion programs for French children. These camps offer 1-2 month opportunities to teach English in France for school-aged children.

These opportunities are great for those looking for shorter stints overseas as well as those who enjoy working outdoors with children.

So here you have it! Our list of 4 options on how to get a job teaching English in France when you are American. Good luck!

Going further: Basic Requirements for teaching English in France.

Americans Teaching in France

Posted In: Teach English in France, Teach English in Europe

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